Sociology, Work, and Industry

Sociology, Work, and Industry

Sociology, Work, and Industry

Sociology, Work, and Industry

Synopsis

In the fourth edition of this successful and popular text, Tony Watson explains how the discipline of sociology contributes to our wider understanding of the variety of work practices and institutions, which exist in modern society. The new edition outlines both what has been achieved historically and what is currently being achieved by the sociological study of work, as well presenting a range of concepts, models and other theoretical ideas that students and researchers can apply to the study of work. Subjects covered include: * how working patterns have changed, and continued to changenbsp;since the industrial revolutionnbsp; * work organizations * innovations in the structuring of work activities at the enterprise level * the occupational aspects of the organization of work in changing societies * how people experience and cope with the pressures, insecurities and inequalities of a restructured world of work * how challenge and resistance influence the shaping of work in an ever-changing world. Fully updated throughout, this booknbsp;includes an all-new chapter on the distinctiveness of the sociological perspective along with guidance on the research and analysis of work. It will be essential reading for anybody studying the sociology of work and organizations.

Excerpt

Sociology, Work and Industry aims to provide as full as possible an overview of the ways in which sociology can help us understand the role of work in people's lives and in modern societies. The overview offered is set within a characterisation of the nature and key characteristics of sociological thinking and research. This makes it possible for people without a previous sociological education fully to appreciate what is distinctive about the sociological imagination. But, in identifying just how the study of work and work-related institutions fits into the broader sociological discipline, this aspect of the book should be equally helpful to readers with an existing knowledge of sociology. That knowledge should be deepened and enriched by its application to issues of work experience and organisation.

The account of the sociology of work and industry provided by this volume is not just theoretically and methodologically grounded. It is also historically grounded, showing how the original emergence of sociology and the later development of the sociology of work and industry have been inextricably linked to the changing social and industrialising world of which it is a part. This equally entails looking at changing thinking over recent decades, as the pace of change in the world of work has accelerated, as it entails attending to the emergence of industrial capitalist ways of organising social life in the first place. Just because sociologists tend to write currently about, say, issues of worker 'subjectivity' in call centres does not mean that we turn our backs on earlier concerns with labour processes, technological implications thinking or human relations research. And neither does it mean, for example, that in attending to the decline in the contemporary influence of trade unions we forget that there once existed such institutions as the 'closed shop' or that we bury the still relevant and valuable sociological insight that closed shop arrangements and patterns of shop steward representation of the mid-twentieth century were partly the outcome of the exercise of managerial interests and not simply arrangements forced on employers by trade unions. An understanding of matters like these is seen as vital to understanding the rather different, but not radically new, patterns that are currently emerging.

Sociology, Work and Industry also aims to encourage and support readers who are interested in actively applying sociological thinking to the work practices they experience and observe. It is hoped that most readers will find their understanding of their own work practices, and those they see occurring around them, generally informed by the knowledge and insights they gain from the book. The various concepts, models and other analytical devices that the book offers as part of its own contribution to the sociology of work and industry, alongside its reporting of the work of others, are there to be used by readers as means of making sense of what they see and experience. And it is hoped that they will be especially useful to readers with a more formal research interest in the sociology of work and industry. Alongside the preparation of this fourth edition of Sociology, Work and Industry, the author has continued to engage in research on a variety of work and work

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